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Rams Roll to 72-61 Border War Win

January 4, 2020

Two teams looking for their first MWC wins of the young conference season. On paper CSU looked to be the stronger team and the benefit of playing at home would certainly work in their favor. But you never know when these two long-standing rivals meet.

And when CSU senior big Nico Carvacho was whistled for his 2nd foul with 17:49 on the 1st half clock, the game plan for The Team Up North was set in motion. Carvacho had plundered them the season before and getting him to the bench was first and foremost to the visitors. With CSU already missing soph forward Adam Thistlewood, things had the potential to go south.

Only freshman David Roddy was delivering on the offensive end, scoring 9 of the Rams’ first 11 points at or near the rim. Defensively the Rams were locking in and holding the visitors to mostly efforts from the perimeter. And then a series of key plays occurred.

The first was a block by Roddy on a Hunter Maldonado turnaround jumper, the visitor’s leading scorer, and it surprised Maldonado enough to throw him off his game for the remainder of the half. Roddy was to follow a short time later with an athletic block off the glass on Kenny Foster.

And then all of a sudden CSU sophomore guard Kendle Moore stepped up. He had struggled early with a couple of unforced turnovers and a missed front end on a 1-and-1. But with CSU leading 20-16, Moore buried pair of three-balls pushing the lead to 10.

A lead that would stay in double digits for the remainder of the game as the Rams closed the half smartly, then continued their fine play to start the second half with Carvacho returning to the floor. They stretched their lead to 23 with 12 minutes remaining and the game was decided.

To their credit, the visitors didn’t stop playing like they did last season when the final margin was 35. CSU obliged by taking some quick shots and fouling and the lead was down to 13. The Rams closed the game out at the free throw line and only some prayerful three-balls by the visitors, including a 35-footer at the buzzer, gave the final score an air of respectability.

It was a rivalry ass-kicking to remember and the leaders were Roddy and freshman guard Isaiah Stevens. Roddy would finish the game with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Stevens ran the show form the backcourt and had a professional game that belies his youth, scoring 17 and delivering 6 assists. Carvacho was 1 point short of another double-double and Moore finished with 11 along with delivering a clinic in perimeter defense.

More Stuff…

I asked Isaiah Stevens and David Roddy if they enjoyed playing rivalry games and they both answered strongly in the affirmative. Stevens played his high school ball at Allen, TX, a big school with lots of big rivals, Isaiah started to list them off one by one. I asked if he won those games. He answered “Yes”.

Steven’s maturity is something to watch. His game is full of fluidity and intelligence and he has a variety of ways to score going to the rim. And he wants the ball in his hands when it matters most. He has the ability to make winning plays and he sure didn’t disappoint against the Team Up North.\

As for Roddy, he is growing every time he takes the court. A career high of 19 today after three successive games with 17. Buts its not just the scoring. He’s becoming a force on the glass and on the defensive end as well.

And you can’t discount the work of the other freshmen John Tonje and Dischon Thomas. Tonje finished with 5 points and Thomas, while scoreless, delivered key minutes with Carvacho on the bench in the first half with solid defense and work on the glass.

The freshmen combined for 41 of the 72 points.

I ran into former CSU greats Kaipo Sabas, Pierce Hornung, and Wes Eikmeier after the game. Its always fun to catch up with players who have moved on to life after basketball. I told Kaipo after the game that the three of them along with Adam Nigon of the broadcasting team and anybody else probably could have beaten Wyoming. He laughed and told me that Pierce said the same thing.

And finally, with the win CSU moved their CFRL record to 2-1 and the Team Up North saw their CFRL record fall to 0-5. Still a lot of CFRL season remaining .

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jan Carpenter permalink
    January 5, 2020 1:29 am

    A game to remember! We have much to look forward to with this group.

    • January 5, 2020 1:31 am

      They grow every game. They remind me of the 2010 team that went to the CBI.

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